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John Chapter 1:20-26

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
September 18, 2020 1:00 am

John Chapter 1:20-26

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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September 18, 2020 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41011-1

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It seems like the most miserable people that I meet are people who are saved, professing Christians, but they are so preoccupied with themselves, they are miserable. And it's a heartbreaking thing to see. And what we have to do is quit being so preoccupied with ourselves. Yes, we've got empty places.

Yes, we've got dry places. But you know what? Lift those up to God and ask God to fill those places. Have you ever noticed you can be going through a trial and you meet somebody else that's going through something deeper and darker, something harder, and maybe they ask for your prayers.

And all of a sudden you're just shook out of your focus on yourself. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is a senior pastor of the Bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. And we're glad to have one of David McGee's associate pastors, D.A.

Brown, here with us as Pastor David continues through the book of John. Hey, Bob, as we grow as Christians, we should be less concerned with ourselves and more concerned with God and those around us. That's what love is.

But D.A., we have to look out for number one, right? No, actually, Bob, God created us to love Him and love others. And when we begin doing that, we find that that's what we were created to do. And we are full of joy.

Well, D.A., that sounds like a really good thing to have in our lives. So let's listen as David McGee helps us understand this truth as he continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John. Turn with me to the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 20.

Let's pick up there. And this is John the Baptist being confronted with the Jewish leadership of the day. And they asked him who he is. And he confessed, and he did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. How refreshing for John to say that. He said, I'm not him. And John jumps right in there. And part of the reason I tell you that I appreciate what John is saying here is you got so many yahoos running around in the world today saying I'm the Christ.

I'm Jesus. They're in America. They're in India.

They're in the Middle East. They're just all over people saying, you know, I'm him. I'm the guy.

I'm the guy. And you know what's amazing is the prophetic fulfillment that that is. Because think about it. Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, never traveled more than about 70 miles from his home, made the proclamation that at one day many were going to come in his name using his name. Now, if you're here and you don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he was just some good teacher, some carpenter that came out of Galilee, you got a real problem. How could somebody that was not very well known at that time correctly and accurately prophesied that he was, people were going to be around the world proclaiming they were coming in his name? I mean, what if you make that statement this morning? Well, you say, you know, one day many people will be coming around and they'll say they're Pastor David. And you know, that's kind of weird, but go with me. You know, they're Pastor David and everybody around the world is going to say, I'm Pastor David.

You'd sit there and you go, no way. But that was fulfilled. And John has the honesty to say, you know what? I'm not him. I am not him. There's two important things for a Christian and really everybody else to understand. Number one, there is a God. And number two, you're not him. Amen. There is a God and you're not him.

I don't care what Shirley MacLean says. She's not him. Praise God. But you know what John realized? John realized it wasn't about him anymore.

Do you see that in this answer? He realized it was not about him anymore. This is something that we need to come to as believers. If you're Christian, it's not about you anymore. It's about him. We don't call it, you know, mistianity or usedianity or something. We call it Christianity because it's about the Christ. It's about Jesus. And notice we don't call it churchianity either. It's Christianity because it's all about Jesus. See, we don't sit here and worship and sing, you know, it's all about me. You know, that's, it's about Jesus. It's about Jesus. And we need to realize that as believers.

Oh, I think academically we understand this. But I'm reminded of the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke chapter 22 verse 42. He says, yet I want your will, not mine.

Now remember the picture. Jesus is in the Garden, getting ready to give his life as a ransom. He knows what's about to happen.

But he's submitted to the will of the Father, even to that degree. I want your will, not mine. In a few chapters, we're going to see John the Baptist and people go to him and they go, and they say, hey, you know, Jesus is getting more disciples than you are. And of course, John said, well, we need, we need a program. That's what we need.

We need this new program so we can get those people back. That's not what he did. He said, he must increase, but I must decrease. Man, I love that verse.

I love the simplicity of that. He must increase, but I must decrease. I was having a wonderful time years ago, probably 15 years ago in my prayer closet, not in the literal closet, but it's not what it's talking about. If you go to a closet to pray, you don't have to do that.

What he's saying is do it in private, spend prayer time in private. So during one of these private times, I was praying, having a wonderful time with the Lord, you know, and was, had my hands raised in prayer. And, and I was asking, Lord, just fill me, just Lord, just fill me, just fill me. And that still small voice of the Lord said, you know what, David, there's no more room in there. You pour out of yourself and I'll pour into you.

It was very humbling. But see, as believers, that's the way that it works. Your cup only holds so much. And if your cup is filled with you, it can't be filled with him.

And let me ask you a question. In all honesty, what would you rather be filled with? Would you really rather be filled with yourself or would you rather be filled with him? Now, this is something, guys, this is something we all struggle with. And here's, and I've used this before, but here's, here's a great example of how preoccupied we are with ourselves. Somebody hands you a photograph and you're in it. What's the first thing you look at in that photograph? You betcha, you look at yourself. And then what do you say? You decide that it's a good photograph or a bad photograph, depending on how you look.

Now, let's be honest now, I gave you a warning, we were going to be honest. You look at that photo and go, oh, oh, that's a good shot there. Yeah, yeah, that's nice.

Can I get some copies of this? You know, another person goes, but everybody has their eyes closed except you. Yeah, but that's a good shot. It's, trust me, I know photograph, it's a good shot. Or, you know, if, of course, everybody else can look wonderful, but if you've got your eyes closed, that's a horrible photograph.

I don't like, can I buy the negatives? This is, this is terrible. When you wake up in the morning, what do you think about? What's the first thing you think about? You think about yourself, eating or what you're going to wear. Now, if you're a mother, you might think of, you know, what your kids are going to wear, but walk through this with me. Why do you, why are you thinking about what your kids going to wear? Why can't they just wear their pajamas to church?

Because everybody thinks you're a bad mother. So, even then, it comes back to what's going on with you. Now, in order to get over this, we've got to be honest that this exists, that we are preoccupied with ourselves. And then there's that twisted, and I, guys, it is a real twist of scripture. When Jesus says, we got to love others as we love ourselves to say, see, we must first learn to love ourselves.

I think that's really bogus. Jesus didn't say that. Jesus didn't say, you really need to learn to love yourself.

You won't find that in scripture. He said, you need to learn to love others. Now, I'm aware, and I'm getting ready to step on some toes, but praise God, I'm aware that in the last few years, we've started this whole self-esteem thing. For 2,000 years, the church has realized that we need to think of others more highly than we think of ourselves. It's only in the last few years that we now think the key is to thinking more highly of ourselves than others.

Guys, that doesn't work. And as far as self-esteem, you only find that in one verse, those two words in the Bible. You know what it says?

That you should esteem others higher than yourself. Now, do some of us need to understand how precious we are to God? You betcha.

You betcha. But part of understanding that is how much grace is involved in there. See, the Lord didn't look at us and go, oh, there's a spark of innate human goodness in you.

Boy, I really see something I could use in you. That's not what happens. It's because of His love. And so that life lesson number one, as we grow as Christians, we should be less concerned with ourselves and more concerned with God and others. As we grow as Christians, we should be less concerned with ourselves and more concerned with God and others. And I'm not talking about just our immediate family, because a lot of people who are not believers do that. I'm talking about concern for your extended family, this family, the body of Christ. It seems like the most miserable people that I meet are people who are saved, professing Christians, but they are so preoccupied with themselves, they're miserable. They are miserable.

And it's a heartbreaking thing to see. And what we have to do is quit being so preoccupied with ourselves. And yes, we've got empty places.

Yes, we've got dry places. But you know what? Lift those up to God and ask God to fill those places. Have you ever noticed you can be going through a trial and you meet somebody else that's going through something deeper and darker, something harder, and maybe they ask for your prayers. And all of a sudden, you're just shook out of your focus on yourself. And you're concerned with this other person. Perhaps you begin to pray. And as you pray, all of a sudden your burden's lifted. Let me ask you, did your situation change?

No. Your focus changed from yourself to someone else. What if Jesus would have walked this earth thinking of himself? Would that have impacted his ministry? Oh, you betcha.

You betcha. Because at the point he was supposed to go up to Jerusalem to be crucified, he would have been saying something like, well, we can do a lot of things, but we can't go to Jerusalem. But as you read scripture, is that the picture you get?

No. It seems like he's leading the disciples to Jerusalem, oftentimes in scripture. And how bizarre that must have been. He'd say, look, I'm going to Jerusalem. They're going to kill me. I'm going to rise again in three days.

Let's go. And we'll get into it in a few chapters. But then one of the disciples said, oh, great, let's all go die. They obviously didn't understand what was going on. But Jesus, he wasn't thinking of himself. He was thinking of others. He was thinking of you and I. He was thinking of you and I. We'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor D. A.

Brown. Hey, Bob, we want to take a minute to pray for some listeners in these cities. In California, we have Fort Bragg, Garberville, Grass Valley, Happy Camp, Hay Fork, Indio, and Johnstonville. God, we thank you for the people tuning in today in these cities. Lord, we pray that they're encouraged in what you're laying on their heart to do. We pray that they would put their trust in you and get plugged in a Bible-teaching church. We pray for the pastors, Lord, that they would have wisdom and discernment how to encourage the people to come to hear the Word. And Lord, we ask you, bless these cities. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now, let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 21. And they asked him, What then are you, Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the prophet? And he answered, No. Then they said to him, Who are you that we may give an answer to those who sent us?

What do you say about yourself? Verse 23 said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said. Now, again, here's an opportunity for John to kind of blow his own horn.

And there seems to, and we'll cover this later, but there seems to be some confusion about John realizing that he was a type of Elijah. But here, he has an opportunity. And, you know, who are you? Are you this guy or that guy? And he's just, Nope, nope, nope, not him, not him, not him either. I really appreciate the humility that he's showing. I mean, he doesn't say, Well, I'm John the Baptist.

There's no greater born among women than me. He doesn't say that. Could he have? Oh, yeah. Did he? No.

And he says, I'm preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. You know, things won't just continue as they are now. You need to realize that.

See, we tend to think that way. We tend to think, Well, you know, this is, you know, just always continue the way it is. Well, not long.

Not long. You see, one morning you're going to wake up, just like any other morning, you're going to wake up and perhaps you're going to get your coffee and you're going to get your newspaper, check your email or whatever you usually do. Your morning will start just as it has started so many times. And then something will happen in an instant that will change every person on the face of the planet. Nobody will go without being changed by this event. We need to realize that, especially looking at this first time at the coming of the Lord. How do we get ready for that ourselves?

Well, there's a few ways. There's a few verses in 1 John that are central to the Christian faith. 1 John chapter 1 verse 6 says, If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

Powerful words. Powerful words talking about sin. So one of the ways we get ready for the coming of the Lord is we realize that we are struggling with sins.

And John here says, you know what? We either repent for our sins or we walk willfully in them. We choose to walk in the light or we choose to walk in the darkness. We choose to acknowledge that we do sin or we lie to ourselves. I occasionally will, you know, come across somebody who doesn't think they sin.

It's an amazing thing. When we realize we are sinners and we do sin, even as Christians, it sends us back to the cross. See, when you're confronted with your sin, and sometimes we are, you shouldn't run from the cross. You should run to the cross. And it's a decision. Now, sad thing is in church so often, we put that decision in the realm of an unbeliever. And certainly if you've never come to a saving knowledge, a saving faith of Jesus Christ, my heart yearns for you to do that this morning.

But how often we think of running to the cross in terms of an unbeliever. Is that appropriate? No. Jesus said pick up your cross, what, every year? Daily. Oh, it's not every Christmas?

It's daily. Why? Because he knows us. He knows what we need. He says pick up your cross daily. Run to the cross daily. What will you decide this morning? To acknowledge your sin? To acknowledge that, yes, you've messed up this week, possibly this morning, possibly on the way to church. Or will you lie to yourself? I don't have that problem.

I've never done that. Life lesson number two. Christians do not repent just once. They repent daily. They repent daily. Christians do not repent just once. They repent daily. The reason this is so important, guys, is when you sin and you wait.

And I used to do this. I used to think, well, you know, I need to work up some sorrow before I repent. I need to feel real bad before I ask for forgiveness.

I'm sure some of you thought the same thing. Well, I mean, I just did it five minutes ago. Can't really be sorry for it yet.

Yes, you can. And let me ask you a question. Does it get easier to repent as time goes by? Uh-uh. It gets harder to repent as time goes by. That's why you should run to the cross often and quickly. A man once said, we should repent one day before we die. One of the students said, well, how do we know when that is?

He says, you don't. So you should repent today. When's the last time you ran to the cross? I mean ran to the cross.

I mean, you thought about things that have gone on in your life and you were heartbroken over them. We talk about loving Jesus. We should love Jesus and we should hate sin. And if you don't hate sin, if sin doesn't break your heart, then that's balanced with how much love you have for Jesus. If you really love Jesus, your sin should heartbreak you.

Does it? Do you grieve over your sins? We're going to give you the chance this morning and I suggest you take it. Another way that we're supposed to prepare for the coming of the Lord is in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25. Some of you are familiar with this. It says, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the day approaching. Don't forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This is one of the things that as believers is really so easy to do.

It's so easy to take a measurement, if you will, of how you're doing in this regards, how you're doing in this area. And guys, and I've said this before, but you know, I don't wake up on Sunday morning and make a decision whether I'm coming to church or not. I made a decision a long time ago. I was going to serve God. Part of serving God, part of growing as Christian was to be in a fellowship.

Yeah, I've told this before, but you know, this man wakes up and he says to his wife, his wife, honey, you know what? I don't feel like going to church. I don't feel like going to church. Those people don't like me and I'm not going.

The wife turned to the man and said, well, honey, they do like you and you have to go. You're the pastor, but you shouldn't wake up on Sunday morning making the decision about whether to go to church that morning. Oh, that's raining.

Well, there's nothing else to do. You want to go to church, honey? That doesn't really spell commitment or, you know, the opposite thing.

Oh, it's a beautiful day. You know, I think I can just worship God while I mow the yard. Is that a commitment as a believer? No.

No. See, if you tell me you are a committed Christian, but you're not committed to a church, that's inconsistent. That is inconsistent. Your fruit is speaking louder than your word.

So another life lesson. Number three, Christians should have a commitment to come to church. Now, I realize you can't come every time the doors are open, but making a commitment to come Sunday morning is, and I know in a certain way I'm preaching to the choir because you guys are here, but this is important to be committed because, again, you know, Jesus is our role model.

There's one thing that there's a lot of words you can use to describe Jesus, but one of them obviously is committed. He didn't let anything deter him. Nothing slowing down.

Nothing slowing down. And you know what? There's something we don't think about sometimes about coming to church. I heard a story.

It's a great story. This woman was in Africa, went to church with her dog. Every Wednesday night, every Sunday morning, she went to church with her dog, and she would sit on the pew, you know, and the dog would come and sit right beside her. And then at the end of the service, she would go forward to pray, and every time she went forward to pray, the dog would go up to the altar with her, you know, stand there until she was finished praying, and then leave. Well, one day the lady died. Her husband never went to church with her, and one day the lady passed away, and the man noticed that every Wednesday night and every Sunday morning the dog would leave for a couple hours, and he's thinking, what's this dog doing? Where's this dog going?

And so he followed him, and he followed the dog to the church, and as the dog took his seat beside a row, the man sat down and listened to the teaching, and after the service, the dog went forward to where he usually stood by the lady as she prayed, and the man followed the dog up and prayed and received the Lord because of a dog. Guys, there's no telling who your church attendance might influence as you make a commitment to come here. Perhaps there's a family member that doesn't really want to come. I've had parents come up to me. It's an amazing thing.

I would never admit to this. I've had parents come up to me and go, you know, I really didn't want to come this morning, but my kids want to come, so here we are. And I'm thinking, are you aware of what you just said to me? I mean, it's encouraging on one hand that your kids want to be here, but you're supposed to bring your kids to the Lord, your friends, your family, and your neighbors, and how can you invite them if you're not gone? Verse 24, Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees, and they asked him, saying, Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. There stands one among you whom you do not know. I hope this doesn't describe you this morning. Jesus is here this morning.

Do you realize that? Do you know him, or is there one standing here that you do not yet know? John the Baptist is an incredible, incredible man. We'll look at his time in prison when he was going through some struggles, but he was, I believe, probably one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament. Now you're thinking, it's Pastor David, Sunday morning, we're in the New Testament.

No, I know what I just said. John the Baptist was one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament. Yes, we're in the New Testament reading this morning, but let me ask you a question. Had Jesus Christ died? No. Was the New Testament established? No. John the Baptist was one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament. He formed part of the bridge between the Hebrew Scriptures or the Old Testament and the New Testament, proclaiming the coming of the Lord. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Now God wants you to pray this prayer so much that He died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask Him to forgive you.

Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him.

And He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit crossthebridge.com to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

Or you can write to Cross the Bridge at P.O. Box 12515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27117, and share how God is working in your life. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God, with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee. That sounds good, Pastor DA. And again, it's been great to have you with us on the program today. But tell us, what else can our listeners find on crossthebridge.com? Thanks again for listening and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 07:54:29 / 2024-03-12 08:05:37 / 11

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